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Publication Title

Medical Physics








A multiobjective genetic algorithm is designed to optimize a computer-aided detection (CAD) system for identifying colonic polyps. Colonic polyps appear as elliptical protrusions on the inner surface of the colon. Curvature-based features for colonic polyp detection have proved to be successful in several CT colonography (CTC) CAD systems. Our CTC CAD program uses a sequential classifier to form initial polyp detections on the colon surface. The classifier utilizes a set of thresholds on curvature-based features to cluster suspicious colon surface regions into polyp candidates. The thresholds were previously chosen experimentally by using feature histograms. The chosen thresholds were effective for detecting polyps sized 10 mm or larger in diameter. However, many medium-sized polyps, 6-9 mm in diameter, were missed in the initial detection procedure. In this paper, the task of finding optimal thresholds as a multiobjective optimization problem was formulated, and a genetic algorithm to solve it was utilized by evolving the Pareto front of the Pareto optimal set. The new CTC CAD system was tested on 792 patients. The sensitivities of the optimized system improved significantly, from 61.68% to 74.71% with an increase of 13.03% (95% CI [6.57%, 19.5%], p = 7.78 X 10(-5) ) for the size category of 6-9 mm polyps, from 65.02% to 77.4% with an increase of 12.38% (95% CI [6.23%, 18.53%], p = 7.95 X 10(-5) ) for polyps 6 mm or larger, and from 82.2% to 90.58% with an increase of 8.38% (95% CI [0.75%, 16%], p = 0.03) for polyps 8 mm or larger at comparable false positive rates. The sensitivities of the optimized system are nearly equivalent to those of expert radiologists.


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Original Publication Citation

Li, J., Huang, A., Yao, J., Liu, J. M., Van Uitert, R. L., Petrick, N., & Summers, R. M. (2009). Optimizing computer-aided colonic polyp detection for CT colonography by evolving the pareto front. Medical Physics, 36(1), 201-212. doi:10.1118/1.3040177